BMI View: South Africa's tourism market offers significant growth potential and numerous operationalchallenges. The country presents visitors with a wealth of attractions, including a well-established safariholiday sector, beach holidays at numerous coastal destinations and a range of historical and culturaldestinations. The hotel sector is relatively developed and most budget levels are well catered for,particularly in destinations such as Durban and Cape Town. Domestic transport infrastructure is lacking,particularly in rural areas, but South Africa is the most well connected country in the region in terms ofinternational flight routes. Despite these positives, ongoing security concerns in the country, a weakinvestment environment and barriers such as counterproductive visa requirements will all continue torestrict growth.
Key Updates And Forecasts
In August, the Department of Tourism announced the tourism month initiative to encourage increaseddomestic travel, focusing on marketing affordable holiday options to South Africans. The first tourismmonth will be held in September. South Africa is taking steps to make the country more accessible. InMarch 2017 visa-free travel was introduced for visitors from Russia and new visa application centreshave been opened in the last few months in countries such as China, the United Arab Emirates and NewZealand. It was also announced that the Department of Home Affairs was working towards securing visafreeentrance into South Africa for all diplomats, business people and students from other Africancountries, which will boost arrivals, particularly from neighbouring countries.